I’ve talked before about my plans when I set up Being Anne – I really wanted it to be more than a book blog, more about what it meant to be me. I’ll own up that I’ve given up on that idea – I love concentrating on books, and those other plans just won’t be happening. I should really have taken it as a sign when the site’s URL had to be “beingannereading”! But I do like to write about something different every now and then, so I decided to write an occasional article for OAPSchat about my new post retirement life.
There have been three so far – one about my solo holidays (which has had over 1400 views), another about the joys of U3A and the gym (over 700), and the latest is published today, all about a visit to the V&A followed by Crime at the Court. Those of you who know me will realise that this visit was actually back in June – I’m not very disciplined, and I’m still catching up on all the things I’ve been up to! There are quite a few more articles in the pipeline, and I’ll let you know when they’re published.
But, while you’re there, why not have a closer look at OAPSchat and think about joining, or following on Facebook or Twitter? I “met” its founder (only virtually so far sadly) Janice Rosser through her sister, Margaret James: many of you will be familiar with Margaret’s books, and (just as an aside) I’ll soon be reviewing the book she’s recently published together with Cathie Hartigan and Sophie Duffy, A Christmas Celebration.
OAPSchat stands for Optimistic and Proactive Seniors Chat, and was born in April 2013 as a Facebook page. Janice and her family were talking about the lack of websites for over fifty-fives and, when she researched a little, she found that there was a significant gap crying out to be filled. The Facebook page became a blog, with weekly columns on health, money, lifestyle issues, relationships, memories and much more, and the website was launched in November 2013.
Janice writes her own articles, and now has over sixty five contributors – of whom I’m proud to be one – and articles on different subjects are posted on an almost daily basis. Given my audience with Being Anne, some of you might even be interested in becoming one of those contributors? The website has a comment facility, a discussion forum, has a significant presence on Facebook and Twitter, issues a monthly newsletter, and runs regular raffles and competitions. Janice was an Independent Happy List Winner 2014 for her wonderful work in founding the website.
Never one to let the grass grow, Janice is now hoping to do something to bring the “chat” element of the site’s name to life. She wants to install a video chat link so that members can ‘see’ each other and chat either one to one or in a group. She has exciting plans to invite authors, TV personalities and business people to share question and answers sessions, but the set up costs need funding. Janice has set up a GoFundMe account (just click for the link) for donations, and the proceeds will be spent entirely on the website. Given that the website’s aim is to combat loneliness and isolation in later years, it’s a campaign I’m more than happy to support and publicise. Good luck Janice!